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SHARYLAND -- There was a lot of passion at Sharyland High School Friday night. It was thick and it was desperate. Amidst it all, Fred Ramos ignored it as the senior recorded 29 points to help his team sweep the season series with the La Joya by beating Coyotes 69-53. With the win the Rattlers secured the fourth and final spot in District 30-5A.
"I just wanted to give it my all," said Ramos. "I think [as a team] we came out with the intensity that we had been looking for all season."
The first half went back and fourth as Rattler Quino Pistokache hit a couple threes to help build a 19-12 lead. La Joya, struggling to find easy scoring opportunities, cut the lead at the end of the half to 24-19 by getting to the foul line.
However, La Joya was not ready for Ramos. The senior, playing in his final regular season home game, erupted for 14 points in the third. The floor leader found his points in a variety of ways. As the Rattler defense clamped down and forced a multitude of turnovers, it was Ramos who would find himself converting on the other end. A beauty behind the arc with three minutes remaining in the quarter would give his team a commanding 41-27 lead.
"I don't believe there is a guy that we have met this year that can stop Fred," said head coach David Keith after the game.
It certainly appeared that way.
However, La Joya was not finished. Though teammate Pistokache would hit a pretty three at the end of the quarter to give the team a 50-33 lead, the Coyotes wouldn't give up.
Ricky Castillo came out and started the quarter well by scoring six straight points to help cut the lead to within ten. As La Joya's intensity kicked up even more--especially on defense--the strong Coyote crowd came alive.
In the end, however, free throws would be the difference. Both teams got to the line but only Ramos and Sharyland would come through consistently enough.
The clinching win was emotional for the Rattlers, who had entered the season hoping for a district championship. When that fell through and Shary suffered through some setbacks, rebounding was hard.
“This is a special group of kids," Keith explained. And, though, they didn't reach their goal of winning the district championship, "they are kind of realizing that what they did was pretty big."
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.